My latest tip helps you to develop the ability to refocus and calm your mind during busy, stressful or overwhelming days.
What are the “Brilliant, Realistic & Practical Stress Busting Tips”?
I work with lots of people who feel stressed out and overwhelmed and I help my clients to find ways to reduce stress, make changes and start feeling a whole lot happier.
There are lots of great stress management tips around, but for many of my clients life can seem so busy and overwhelming that many stress busting activities seem impossible to fit into an already hectic day and end up becoming yet another item on their crazy “to do” list.
So, I thought I would share a few of my tips which are designed to be realistic, practical and very easy to incorporate into an already busy life.
You’ll find each of my tips on my website’s blog (www.lumierecoaching.co.uk) and shared on my Facebook page. My suggestion is that if you are busy, overwhelmed and stressed then just pick one or two of my tips and try them out this week so you can start making life better.
So, here is my latest tip….
Take Two (Minutes)
When we feel overwhelmed or stressed the pace of the day can seem relentless. When we’re not actually doing things and working like crazy we are thinking about what needs to be done next – and this can be exhausting. We know, logically, that we can’t keep up the pace and that we should take some time out. But, the idea of actually stopping can seem like an impossibility.
I’ve worked with many clients who have tried to take time out to relax and reflect during their busy day but have found themselves squirming with worry about all the other things they “should” be doing, or feeling guilty for “not doing anything”. Many of my clients also find it really difficult to stop – they’ve been busy for so long and have lost the art of just taking a breather.
So, this tip is aimed at making it easy to regain the ability to stop and take a little time to recharge.
This is what you do…..
Take just two minutes to refocus and quieten your brain – and aim to do this around five times each day.
Here are a few ways you can do this:
- When walking between meetings our heads can often be filled with thoughts about the last meeting, the next one or all the things we have to do. Instead of doing all this thinking, take the opportunity to place your attention somewhere else and give your brain, emotions and “doing self” a couple of moments of rest. For example, you could focus on:
– Your breathing – notice how your breath feels in your nose, chest or abdomen.
– What’s around you – noticing how busy the office is, the pictures on the wall, the colour of the carpet (sounds silly, but have you ever actually noticed the carpet you’ve probably paced across countless times?!
– Your body – noticing the feeling of walking, the muscles in your legs as you climb stairs, any tension in your body (perhaps using this two minutes to roll your shoulders or rub your neck).
- When eating your lunch whilst working at your desk – take two minutes to sit away from your computer and focus your attention on what you are eating, really taste your food and take time to enjoy it.
- When making a cup of tea or coffee focus on the activity – the smell of the tea or coffee, the noise the kettle or drinks dispenser makes, the anticipation you might feel about having a warm drink, the feel of the cup in your hand, the taste of the drink.
- If you commute or travel on public transport for work then it is likely that you spend your journey thinking about work or working via phone or laptop – take two minutes of your journey to focus on the journey itself. Notice the other travellers around you, notice the architecture of the train station, the sound or rhythm of the vehicle you’re in, the feel of the seat under you, the view out of the window.
- You could also just take two minutes at your desk and focus on you. We often sit for long periods of time at our desk and don’t notice how we feel physically, so take this opportunity to notice any aches or tension, whether you need to pop to the loo, or whether you are sitting in an uncomfortable position. Then, relax any areas of tension (wiggle your jaw, shrug your shoulders, stretch your arms, rub your neck), readjust your sitting position so your posture is kinder to your body, and pop to the loo if you’ve realised you need to go!
Can’t Refocus for Two Minutes?
Sometimes we find it very difficult to refocus even just for two minutes – our brains take us back to worrying, planning and thinking about all we have to do in our busy lives. That’s OK because this is just what our busy brains have been used to doing, so don’t worry if you have trouble maintaining focus on (for example) making your cup of tea.
If your brain takes you off into thought and worry, just note where it has gone and kindly say to it “That’s OK, right now I’m having two minutes focussing on making my cup of tea, we’ll get to that other stuff all in good time”, and then refocus on your cup of tea (or whatever it is you’d decided to focus on).
You will find that you become better and better at refocussing your attention– and you will experience the benefits of calming your constantly busy and thinking brain. By refocussing your attention you are not only giving your busy, thinking brain a rest but are also calming your stress response, helping yourself to feel better and helping yourself to work better.
So, as you become more practiced, why not try increasing your two minutes and refocussing for a little longer?
Does It Really Work?
Many of my clients are surprised (and initially sceptical) when I suggest they make these seemingly small adjustments to their day – particularly when they feel so burdened with stress and overwhelm. But, they find that these tips really do work – as the social psychology researcher Amy Cuddy says “Tiny tweaks can lead to BIG CHANGES”.
With regards to these “Take Two (Minutes)” tips, there is a wealth of research linking refocussing of our attention (even for a short period of time) to reductions in stress reactions and improvements in performance. So, why not give it a go?
Lumiere Coaching is run by Nikki Watters, a qualified and experienced life coach, counsellor, mindfulness trainer and NLP practitioner. Nikki helps busy people to reduce stress, make changes, work better and feel a whole lot happier!
Contact Nikki at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.